There are four total management styles to consider, with each one pertaining to a different sort of managerial process. Some managers will be laid back and allow employees to do their thing, while others will demand greatness and help people reach their true potential! With that being said, applying the right management style at the right time could be very important for the productivity of any team.
The wrong management style will stunt the grown of your team and have peers second-guessing your decisions, while the right one will always boost morale and increase employee happiness.
The Different Styles of Management
“The Controller” (Autocratic Management)
Managers who want to completely control the team can be effective when applied correctly. If you feel like you should be solely responsible for the success of the team and make all of the important decisions, this is likely the style of management you apply. You won’t ask employees for their opinion on important matters and leave little room for “additional creativity” when it comes to turning in projects.
The perfect definition of this management style would be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – if the company is turning a profit while the manager controls everything, why look into anything else?
- Consistent and result-driven
- Manages large teams well
- Allows employees to focus on work and nothing else
- Limits team contributions when it comes to ideas and decision making
- Top talent may not have a say in important matters
- Could be considered as being “bossy”
“The Democrat” (Participative Management)
This management style is for you if you’re the kind of person who wants to include as many opinions into the mix as possible. This is a great way to let employees know that you want them to have a voice in the workplace, as opposed to just “clock in and get their work done”. This is perfect for more creative companies (like design or marketing agencies) since you can read the room and make a decision based on how your team feels.
When there’s always room for improvement or flexibility, it helps to see what others have to say about the situation. This is often considered one of the most effective management styles around, but only when applied correctly.
- Allows every employee to have a voice and express their opinion
- Increases the level of trust between team members and their managers
- Helps motivate employees because they have a larger say in the matter
- Inexperienced employees could steer projects the wrong way
- Some members may be excluded due to a lack of expertise or confidence
“The Delegator” (Laissez-Fair Management)
This is the sort of approach that “lazy managers” take, but it can be the right one in many cases. When you have a team of workers that you can rely on and have total faith in, sometimes it’s better off to just let them work freely. If they’ve proven themselves and constantly deliver on deadlines and promises, taking the hands-off approach is likely your best bet.
Workers will know that they’re relied on and (hopefully) compensated accordingly, which makes them feel like an even larger part of the company as a whole. It isn’t always an effective management style, but it’s one that we’ve seen work plenty of times in the past.
- Allows for organic personal growth and skill development
- Shows team members that you have a high level of faith in them by giving them freedom
- Decisions can be made much quicker compared to other management styles
- With no major guiding force, employees can feel pressured to work without proper guidance
- Some team members will consider their managers “lazy and uninvolved”
- Allows poor managers to keep their job and maintain a role within reputable companies
“The Motivator” (Persuasive Management)
Managers who want to get the most out of their workers and help them realize their true potential would fall under this management style, and the most obvious example would be the likes of Wall Street Executives. They understand how to make money and the way things work, but they also want their peers and staff to feel the same way. While they won’t consult with employees and team members before making decisions, they are persuasive enough to make them believe it was the best decision possible.
Employee resentment and lack of trust are less likely to develop when you make the decisions yourself, but keep everybody in the loop and aware of what’s happening.
- Tons of trust to be had between both employees and managers
- Employees will respond with reason and logic, as opposed to feeling threatened when called on
- If employees cannot properly express their feedback they may become agitated with the situation
- Employees may feel a lack of creativity because they aren’t given much freedom on assigned projects
Which One Seems Best For You?
After reading through the four main management styles, which one do you think applies to you? If you aren’t happy with your current approach, do you plan on using one of the other styles talked about here in the future?
While I can’t make the decision for you, at least you have the information required to make an informed decision. Managing a team (or even an entire company) is hard work, but as long as your approach is proper, success is almost guaranteed.